Unemployment across California is dropping

FRESNO, California

Experts say the Valley's unemployment numbers represent the fact we rely on seasonal industries. Often, people are let go after only a few months of work. And that leaves more people looking for a job.

A bulletin board inside Fresno County's Employment Development Department may have dozens of job postings, but Mary Lou Flores of Fresno, says landing one is nearly impossible.

Mary Lou Flores said, "Just keep coming back and putting applications in till they call you up. That's what you have to do. Keep coming back."

Flores says she's been unemployed for nearly two years. Her friend, Pedro Munoz was laid off from his farming job 11 months ago. He's now considering working out of state.

Pedro Munoz said, "That's hard because I'm looking for a job here and in Oregon."

Fresno County sits at 18.4%. A year ago, those numbers were the same. And in February of 2011, the jobless rate was 18.1%.

Steven Gutierrez with the E.D.D says the Valley's dependence on farming contributes to those stagnant numbers.

Gutierrez said, "Usually during the winter months is when farming will be dormant, and like I said that usually peeks January, February march, and then as we get back into spring and summer, you'll see the unemployment rate down."

Between February and March, Fresno County lost 22-hundred farm-related jobs.

Tony Martin, owner of Downtown Fresno's Fulton 55 music venue, says he's seeing the effects of the Valley's unemployment rate first hand. When his club first opened three months ago, nearly 400 people applied for 12 positions. Now, with a full staff--martin says resumes are still pouring in.

Martin said, "Well, people call, email, drop in and ask if we're still taking applications and what have you, but they're willing to take anything just to get their foot in the door."

Industries which reported growth between February and March include leisure and hospitality, construction and manufacturing. Experts expect those industries to create more jobs during the summer months.

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